Halle’s Venison Larb Salad

Swapping the traditional chicken for ground venison, Halle Haste says this popular Thai-style salad is a family favorite

By author of Timber 2 Table Wild Game Recipes Print Recipe
prep time
cook time
3-4
serves
14
ingredients
Medium
difficulty

One of my favorite parts of writing this blog is the opportunity it gives me to constantly talk about wild game and share recipes with other passionate fans of the outdoors. This is one of those recipes. Good friend, wife, mother, business owner, and one heck of a wild game chef, Halle Haste says she makes this recipe for her family on a regular basis. After giving it a try, I can see why. It is delicious.

You can serve the larb as individual salads, lettuce wraps, or as a large salad for the table.

Being a mom, Halle is always trying to get her two sons and her husband to eat healthy, and it isn’t always an easy task. This Thai-style meat salad featuring seasoned ground venison on a bed of salad greens does the task. The best part is her crew loves it.

This recipe is full of fresh vegetables and herbs.

Unless you have a large supermarket near you, you might have to run to an Asian market to find the ingredients for this one. Don’t worry if you don’t have one nearby; you can get everything on the ingredients list shipped to your door if you shop online. If you are like us, you’ll want to make it several times, so don’t worry about having a lot of leftover ingredients in the fridge or pantry.

Ingredients

 

Meat mixture:

1 pound ground venison

2 prik ki nu (Thai) chiles (also called bird’s-eye chile), very finely diced

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1/2 stalk fresh lemongrass, pureed in blender with 1/4 cup water

1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped

Dash ground white pepper

2 tablespoons roasted rice powder, see below

Dressing:

3 tablespoons nam pla (fermented fish sauce)

Juice of 3 limes

2 teaspoons palm sugar (or brown sugar)

Salad:

1 head butter or leaf lettuce (very finely shredded cabbage is good, too)

1/2 English cucumber, sliced thinly

1 tomato, chopped, or 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

Cilantro

Fresh mint

 

Cooking Instructions

1. Make the roasted rice powder. Toast 3 tablespoons of uncooked Thai sticky rice in a skillet on medium heat until it becomes light golden brown. This takes about 10 minutes. Place the toasted rice in a high-powered blender, or mortar and pestle, and grind to a coarse powder. This will yield about 2 tablespoons rice powder. Set aside.

Toast the uncooked rice to a light brown before crushing it in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.

2. Cook the venison completely before adding the other components so the aromatics do not overcook. Now, add the chiles (note: these chiles are hot, so if you or your guests don’t like spicy food, cut it to 1 or even 1/2 of a pepper, if desired), onion, pureed lemongrass, cilantro, mint, and white pepper. Mix well, cook 1 minute, then take off the heat.

Brown the venison before adding herbs and other seasonings.

 

3. Make the dressing by whisking together the nam pla, lime juice, and sugar. Pour over the meat mixture.

4. Assemble the salad by placing lettuce, cucumber slices, and tomato in 4 dishes/plates. Top with a large scoop of the ground meat mixture. Add a little extra fresh mint and cilantro to the dish, then sprinkle with about 1 to 2 teaspoons of the roasted rice powder.

 

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